Coast Guards set to become bigger | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Coast Guards set to become bigger

mumbai Updated: Nov 06, 2009 02:09 IST
Presley Thomas

The impact that gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and nine other suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) militants left on the government by taking Mumbai hostage for over 60 hours finally seems to be bearing fruit.

The Indian Coast Guards, which has one boat to patrol every 132 km, has chalked out a plan to become the third largest coastal force in the world.

The Coast Guards now plans to augment its fleet by 100 vessels and 100 aircraft within a decade to man the 7,500-km-long Indian coastline.

Vice-Admiral Anil Chopra, the director general of Indian Coast Guards, said the November 26, 2008, terror attack has forced the government to speed up the process of improving the internal security system. And work, the vice-admiral added, is on at a frantic pace.

Vice-Admiral Chopra was in Mumbai to take part in a national anti-pollution exercise that involved various central and state agencies including the Indian Navy and the Maharashtra Maritime Board.

“We have a plan in place to augment the force in a systematic order. In the next two years, the force will be multiplied by 30 per cent,” he said.

The present force and manpower will double in three to four years through measured procurements and corresponding infrastructure development and augmentation of the trained manpower will happen proportionately, added Vice-Admiral Chopra.

Chopra added that about 50 vessels for various purposes are being built across various shipyards in the country. The coast guards will also get new aircraft added to its fleet of aging dornier aircraft.

“These ships should be inducted to the coast guards in the next four years.”

The vice-admiral on Wednesday commissioned a coast guard station at Karwar — one of the 15 stations the government has planned to address the country’s porous maritime borders.